Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Who's Feeling Young Now?

It's almost the end of 2014! Where did the year go? The past few months I've been getting out and about at least once a week to hit the woods here in Portland. I've started more trail running and hiking, which is one of those things I've always said I need to do more often, and never did! It's been a true pleasure. This is from a snowy hike up at Eagle's Creek in November.
I finished up an album cover/stickers project this past November. I'm really pleased with how everything turned out. The circular illustrations are for stickers on the middle of blood red records!

This is the full exterior jacket illustration. I can't wait to see it in print!

I did a couple of commissions for holiday gifts this year, and each one was a pleasure. Below, an old friend from Rochester and her fiance;

An old co-worker from Borders' dog, Neela (what a cutie!);
Finally, a camel with gold leaf, because camels with gold leaf.

I had a huge dream come true this month when I entered the Nutcase Helmets artist series' design contest, and was chosen as one of the winners! We are currently working on a helmet design together (the design below, though swell, is not the final design for the helmet). In late August, I'll be traveling with the Nutcasers to Germany for Eurobike, where I'll be doing live painting, and then to Interbike in Las Vegas for some more live painting! This is a huge dream come true for a bike nerd like me.

Speaking of traveling, my trip to NY is coming up VERY SOON! On January 8th, I'll be having an art closing event at Discovery Wines in Manhattan. I'm excited to see old friends and family in my first trip back to the East Coast in over a year. I'll have these posters for sale there, a recycled image from a previously rejected poster.
Speaking of rejection, I'll finish out with a few rejected sketches that I've done recently that I think are pretty good. Being an illustrator means tons of rejected sketches, but there's something to be said about the ones that are rejected too!

Cheers! to 2015! My resolutions are to travel abroad more and see more live bluegrass music.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

I'd just set the course North and I'd study the charts and towards dawn I drifted towards sleep...

Dear blog, October was a pretty awesome month. I celebrated a year of living in the Pacific Northwest, and it's reflected in all of the nautical art that came out this month. I started out the month with a wonderful trip with my cousins to Hood River, OR and Mt. Hood. Hood River is a sweet little town located where the Hood River meets the mighty Columbia River. In this part of the Columbia River Gorge, the way that the winds come through make it a destination for windsurfers. Another special thing about Hood River are the amazing views of Mt. Adams and Mt. Hood. I fell in love with Oregon a whole lot more on this trip!

We also went way up (6000 feet!!) to Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood on this trip. You may have seen Timberline Lodge in The Shining, they use exterior shots of it in the beginning. Timberline Lodge was part of the WPA between 1936 and 1938. Many of the workers on the lodge had become impoverished during the Great Depression, and the building of the lodge employed these people and gave them a living wage. One of the best stories was an artist who was found living in a piano box, surviving on beans soaked in rain water. These workers were so excited to be employed and worked hard to hand craft EVERYTHING in the lodge, from the masonry, to the hand-hewn timber for the building, all of the wooden furniture and railings, the ironwork, the hand-woven curtains and textiles, down to all of the gorgeous details in the woodwork throughout the building. I was overwhelmed with appreciation and inspiration visiting here.

I was very excited to be involved with Design Week Portland this year! I was part of the mixed media show at Grand Central Bowl, where artists are given a bowling pin and encouraged to "go crazy" with mixed media! It was a great opportunity for me to branch out from the world of two dimensional media that I'm accustomed to, and try out some new things. And yes, I created a mermaid scene.

I had the great opportunity to create a poster for the local band, Pediment, and their upcoming EP release party. The art director on this piece was on board with my lust for all things nautical, and really open to me experimenting with color scheme. I'm really happy with how it turned out.

I learned a WHOLE LOT about shipping fine art this month, as my paintings travelled 3000 miles to be on display at Discovery Wines in Manhattan. I'm so proud and honored for the opportunity to show my art there and connect with an entirely new audience. In early January, I look forward to visiting friends and family in NY and having a closing reception there. Below, some of the paintings that are on display now.

Finally, a project that is non-nautical (or, I am not just a one trick pony). I've been posting progress on my sketches for this album cover for a few months, and we've gone through quite a few revisions to get the image and color scheme just right. You may wonder how I came to this particular color scheme. This album is based on a very weird time in the musician's life spent in Butte, MT. There's a toxic feeling to the town, something very sinister lies beneath. As we progressed in our sketches and color studies, we discussed using a fresh bruise as the color pallet to really get that uneasy and sinister feeling across. Below, the linoleum block inked for the back cover, featuring "Our Lady of the Mountain", a huge statue in Butte that towers over the mountains.

The finished and photoshopped "Our Lady";

The front cover, featuring the eerie oil rigs that are lit up and bright red at night.
From here, I get to move on to creating the stickers that are going in the center of the vinyl records, a new and exciting project for me. The records for this release are going to be blood red as well. November brings rain, Dia de los Muertos, an opportunity to see one of my favorite folk singers, participation in a holiday group show, and more wonderful projects. Cheers!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

We can't hear a thing when all we think about are all the things we think we might be missin'

September has been a wonderful and productive month here in Portland! I've delved back into the depths of my gold leaf obsession from college days. I'm using the gold leaf as a framing element for my upcoming fine art show at Discovery Wines in Manhattan.

I was lucky enough to do some design work for the fine folks at Discovery Wines as well, which coincided with grape season in Portland. I've never lived somewhere where grapes grow so well. Right now as you walk around the neighborhood, the air smells of grape jelly, rosemary, and ripe figs. It's so fragrant. For Discovery, I wanted to get past the overused imagery of a wine bottle and glass. It seemed too obvious. While vacationing in the Napa Valley this past Spring, I got a great shot of an old fashioned wine press, which I used for this image. Below, the layout drawing:

...and the final! I was really excited to capture the experience of "peeking out" from under a grape arbor.

On a completely different note, my cousin's wife had a baby, and this was a present commissioned for his 40th birthday. Portraits are a scary thing for me (ego gets in the way, sometimes, even for the best of us). Also, capturing a baby's face while still getting a likeness was challenging. I had fun, and learned a thing or two on the way.

I was incredibly honored to be part of the release of Ani DiFranco's new studio album, Allergic to Water, due out next month! My tee shirt is available for pre-order here.

I'm super pumped to be part of 1975's Halloween group art show for the fourth year in a row. This year's theme is "Devil's in the Details", and I wanted to explore where deviled eggs come from.

An old friend of mine opened a restaurant this year. It's awesome to see her success, and be designing for their tee shirts!

I'm coming up on my one-year anniversary in Portland. One of the things I'm doing to celebrate is taking part in Portland Design Week's Mixed Media show at Grand Central Bowling. I get to decorate a bowling pin!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Remember that it's just a cameo.

Happy new moon to y'all! As August comes to a close, so does the summer. I've had a ball this summer, and one of the things that I got to do was crafts in the park with kids with Collage. Here's a picture from pipe cleaner jewelry night. Notice my crown? I'm the queen of pipe cleaner jewelry!

I'm super excited about my most recent poster. I've been working with The Barn Owl for a few years now, and my request for this year's poster was to draw fireflies. I'm also exploring some new printing methods, inspired by a printmaking class that I taught.

You're probably wondering, "What is this revolutionary new printmaking method that she's using?" It's multiple colored prints! Holy wow! I need to get a few new things to really perfect it, but I'm loving it so far. The first poster I tried in this method was for the fab Brooklyn band Every Flavor Weather Machine.

I can't go through a summer without a nautical poster, and I just love how the color fade made it look so refreshing. Ahhhhh... also I want to be a mermaid.
Here's a revised sketch that I did for a project that I've been working on based on Butte, MT and a general sense of dread.

I've been working in a brand-new media to me, watercolor directly on wood. It's had a cool effect so far.

After going in the with the watercolor layer, I go in with acrylic paint markers and some solvent-based brush pen markers to tighten it up.

The best holiday in August is Julia Child's birthday, hands down. Here's a sweet old podcast with a Julia Child interview.

Finally, some photos of what my linoleum block printing class made. I had so much fun teaching for the first time!

I guess the things I'll miss most about summer are watching the kids leave for bike camp every morning at the Community Cycling Center, and the shady areas in the parks.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

I still had legs and arms

We are halfway through summer! After tearing down my last art show, I noticed that pet portraits were really popular. We love our pets. In Oregon, we either love or love to hate rain. Surprisingly, it's been a pretty dry summer here. I started a series after thinking about this... called "it's raining cats and dogs". These are currently on display at the Bare Bones Cafe, along with other pieces.

I went out to the Oregon Country Fair! It was pretty fun. Before we went in, my cousins and I got bedazzled.

I've been dreaming of going to figure drawing for quite awhile. My roommate and I finally went this month, and it was so much fun! My new goal is to fit it into my schedule once a month.

I started a new project with a fun new client, and one of my favorite things to do when working out a new project that has a significant "feeling" to it is doing color studies. I spent an afternoon sketching on my porch one weekend... which is one of the perks of gorgeous summer days!

Some of the sketches for the project...

From the sketchbook, Chris Thile.

I finished up this tee shirt design for Jerry Joseph and the Jackmormons! Elephants can high-five and lo-five at the same time.

Finally, I just started a new zodiac series, starting with my own sign.

So many projects are coming up in August! I'm doing a few projects with old friends on the East Coast, teaching my first class, and celebrating the Birthday of one of my favorite celebrities through art :)